Video Games Are Having A Moment — But Sports Games Are In A Rut

With so many people across the country cooped up inside to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, it isn’t surprising that video gaming is on the rise these past few months. According to Nielsen, play time was up by 45 percent during the last week of March, while worldwide sales were up at least 44 percent. Although a lot of that includes the popular new Animal Crossing game, which sold a record 5 million digital copies since its release, it also includes sports games — the likes of which leagues have increasingly embraced in the absence of real contests. ESPN aired the NBA 2K20 Players Tournament in April, while baseball players have an entire MLB The Show league airing on Twitch and YouTube. In other words, there’s probably never been a better opportunity to play sports video games than right now. The only thing keeping this from being a true golden age is simply that sports gaming itself is in the doldrums.

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